Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department (PARL)
The First Amendment to the Constitution protects the exercise of religious freedom. Further protection is granted by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The primary mission of the Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty is to assist those whose religious freedom has been threatened. A secondary emphasis is to uphold the American tradition of the separation of church and state.
Seventh-day Adventist views on religious liberty were set forth in 1889 as the “Declaration of Principles of the National Religious Liberty Association, organized that year in Battle Creek, Michigan. The four resolutions directly related to religious liberty were:
- We believe in supporting the civil government, and submitting to its authority.
- We deny the right of any civil government to legislate on religious questions.
- We believe it is the right, and should be the privilege, of every man to worship according to the dictates of his own conscience.
- We believe it to be our duty to use every lawful and honorable means to prevent religious legislation by the civil government; that our fellow citizens may enjoy the inestimable blessings of religious liberty.
If you are in need of assistance in protecting your religious freedom, you should first contact your pastor. If the pastor is unable to resolve your problem, he will then contact the conference director of public affairs and religious liberty. At that point the union director may get involved, if needed.
Freedom is what we have–Christ has set us free! Galatians 5:1 (Good News Bible)